I’ve managed to end up in the positive three of the last four days while netting 65% of my bet, on average, with my biggest win being 10x my bet. The one day I didn’t hit was because I faded Steph Curry on a career night. Whoops. It happens. Let’s see if we can get the big one now and cash out.
And, by the way, screw Dwane Casey as I had Delon Wright in all my lineups last night. Way to go, you a-hole.
It’s a five-game slate tonight that starts at 7:30 ET and with the news midday yesterday that Kevin Durant is going to start a seven-day quarantine means people will be flocking to Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert in droves. It’s probably not wise to fade both of those guys, but fading one can make your lineup contrarian enough to nab the big one. I’ll probably fade one in 1/3 of my lineups, then the other in 1/3 of my lineups, and have 1/3 of my lineups with both. One important thing to keep in mind that a lot of people will overlook is that LeVert had his 61.3 Fanduel point blowup without KD AND Kyrie.
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With pivots, we’re looking for two things: low ownership and the ability to put up 6-7x value. If your low owned player puts up big numbers, you automatically jump all the people who chose the popular option. On this slate, people will flock to Kyrie, Paul George (who’s still a bit underpriced for his recent performance), LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and Nikola Jokic. I’m not outright fading anyone here.
Damian Lillard – $9,200
Damian Lillard is perpetually underrepresented in these GPPs and the number of rosters that will feature Kyrie will probably top 70% in this one, so in lineups where you’re not riding the Kyrie wave, Dame Dolla makes a whole lot of sense. We’d be looking for a 60-burger here (60 FD points) which he hasn’t achieved yet this season, but Chicago is giving up a ton of points to opposing point guards. Rostering him and Kyrie seem pretty chalky, so his ownership could be 30% or higher, but I still like him as a pivot off of Kyrie.
Jamal Murray – $7,900
Murray’s going to have low ownership and he’s up against a pretty weak defense from the Minnesota Timberwolves. He’s put up 46.3 and 51 FD points in his last two games and Mike Malone has been letting him run the show for the second unit, which has really boosted his scoring output. $7,900 seems like a steal.
Donovan Mitchell – $7,800
Donovan Mitchell is going to catch fire at some point again and it seems like I’m going to keep rostering him until it happens. $7,800 isn’t a low enough salary to make him a must-start but you’re getting a decent floor with a sky-high ceiling. I’m not huge on narratives but Don Mitch certainly does love the spotlight and this is a spot for him to go off against a team many people think will be in the mix for a championship. He’ll be in many of my tournament rosters.
Dillon Brooks – $6,100
This one is all about ownership and opportunity. Dillon Brooks shot 20% from the field last game which should drive a lot of owners away. Without Ja Morant, the offensive touches are there for Brooks as he’s hovered around 30% usage in those games. He’s known as a chucker, but if the shots are falling its DFS gold for you.
Honorable Mention: D’Angelo Russell ($7,400)
LeBron James – $10,200
Of the guys that should have high ownership tonight, LeBron James strikes me as the one that people will pivot off of the most. We all know what he can do and a 60 point gem against a pretty bad Memphis squad isn’t out of the question, but a blowout is always a concern here. A lot of people will be immediately turned off by the questionable tag for a sprained ankle, but seeing as how there’s back-to-back coming up for the Lakeshow, I’m convinced that’s when he’ll rest if he needs it. I’m for sure gonna have some exposure to LBJ, but I can’t commit to him in too many lineups.
Kyle Anderson – $6,300
Playing both Kyle Anderson and Dillon Brooks against a solid Lakers defense isn’t advisable. I like SloMo less than Brooks but he’s still a great pivot with the ability to put up 40ish Fanduel points. He’ll also likely be tasked with trying to defend LeBron, which really doesn’t bode well, but if you want a contrarian pick here’s your guy.
Jusuf Nurkic – $6,000
It has to click for Jusuf Nurkic at some point, and what better team to do it against than my lowly Bulls? The Bulls have actually been pretty decent against opposing centers, but they haven’t really played against one that has touch beyond the arc yet. Thomas Bryant, who can shoot a bit, went 4/5 on mostly uncontested threes in the two games between the Wizards and the Bulls earlier this season. It might be time for a Nurk alert, and you should be there to reap the rewards.
Jarrett Allen – $5,800
I like Jarrett Allen less than Nurkic, but this price tag is still pretty tasty for a guy that has a fantastic floor at around 30 Fanduel points and can net you 40+. I’m probably not going to roster him a bunch, but he’ll be in a few of my lineups mostly for that very solid floor and nice price. He hasn’t done particularly great in his career against Utah and Rudy Gobert, but it’s totally okay to be a contrarian in these GPPs and he’s only played four games against them in his up and down career.
What we’re looking at with value plays is anyone with a salary of $5,600 or lower that can provide 7-9x value. Why $5,600? Because 5.6 x 7 = 39.2, or roughly 40 points which is pretty attainable, and since we’re projecting ceilings conservatively, 9-10x isn’t out of the question. Quite simply, the higher the salary the harder it is to provide that high of a value.
Ricky Rubio – $4,500
I’ll probably be spending up at the PG spot tonight, but if I need a value play Ricky Rubio is looking like the only real option. He’s been benched and hasn’t played well at all this season, so his ownership should be in the basement to match his dirt-cheap price tag. He’s capable of getting you 35-40 Fanduel points if the Timberwolves can ever figure out how to play basketball again. That’s a big ask, but the risk here might be worth it. It’s not my favorite play, by any means.
Gary Trent Jr. – $3,800
Gary Trent Jr. shot lights out the game before he was injured, then he played 31 minutes in his return from that injury. The Bulls are a bad team when it comes to defending the perimeter so Gary Trent could feast again and his price tag is insanely low for someone that can net you 30 Fanduel points any given night. I love him and will be sure to roster him wherever I can make it work.
Carmelo Anthony – $4,200
Carmelo Anthony is certainly up and down and last game he was down, so now he’s up? Who knows. What I do know is that he has a decent floor since Portland is committed to trotting him out there for 25ish minutes per game and he has an incredibly high ceiling for this price tag. You live by the Melo and you die by the Melo, but the risk makes total sense for the cost here.
Rudy Gay – $4,800
This hinges entirely on whether or not LaMarcus Aldridge plays, but without LMA Rudy Gay has been busy. You get a very nice floor of 25ish Fanduel points here with the potential for 40 at a super low price. If LMA plays, even in limited minutes, look the other way.
Honorable Mention: Joe Harris ($4,600)
Potential Punt Play: Garrett Temple ($3,500)
Thaddeus Young – $4,100
Thaddeus Young hasn’t quite hit his stride yet this season with the Chicago Bulls, but this game should be fast-paced and the Bulls are missing Lauri Markannen. Two duds in a row should keep his ownership down so I love him as a lock-in tournament plays. He has the potential to put up 35-4o Fanduel points, and he just might in a late game tonight.
Naz Reid – $4,800
Naz Reid has a very, very good floor without Karl-Anthony Towns and the Denver Nuggets defense has been… less than good… to start this season. I’m probably locking both these power forwards into quite a few of my lineups for their low, low cost as I can spend money elsewhere and hope to get 70ish Fanduel points still out of the position.
Serge Ibaka – $4,500
The thing you have to like most about Serge Ibaka here is that the minutes will always be there. He scored 36.6 Fanduel points in a game against Minnesota earlier this season and there’s no reason to believe he can’t do that again any time he wants. The Spurs aren’t the sexiest matchup, but the potential is there.
Jakob Poeltl – $4,300
Jakob Poeltl is a very nice floor play if LaMarcus Aldridge does not play. If LMA suits up, there’s no reason to grab this dude. Poeltl hasn’t blocked a shot in the last three games and still put up 20 Fanduel points in 2/3 of them. 25 is a decent guess and 35 is what we’re looking for. It’s possible, but I like Ibaka better for tournament play with his higher ceiling at only $200 more.